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Shabbat Shmini (Lev. 9:1-11:47 )

Thesaurus.com lists the following synonyms for the word “drunk” (as in “intoxicated”): bashed, befuddled, boozed up*, buzzed*, canned, crocked*, drinking, drunken, flushed*, flying*, fuddled, gassed, glazed*, groggy, hammered, high*, hosed, in orbit, inebriated, jolly, jugged, juiced*, laced*, liquored up*, lit*, lush, merry, muddled, oiled, on a bun, overcome, pie-eyed,... read more

Shabbat Tzav (Lev. 6:1-8:36)

This weeks’ portion begins saying “This is the Ritual (Tzav) of burnt offering.”. However, various interpretations give the meaning of tzav as “commandment”, “law” or even “Torah”. One commentator explains that the word “Torah” does not always apply to the 5 books of Moses. It can mean the 5 books plus Talmud. Or all the official holy books together (Torah, Prophets, Writings, etc). Then there’s “the... read more

Shabbat Vayikra (Lev. 1:1-5:26)

The book of Exodus was completed and that of Leviticus opened under a blanket of silent white purity. Hope, faith and trust in the world and God lead me to believe that by the time Leviticus is done, the world will be renewed with life and color. Metaphorically speaking, Exodus created the external structure for Judaism – creating a people out of a few ragtag tribes, giving them an identity first as “the... read more

Shabbat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11 – 34:35)

Ki Tisa – one of the seminal moments in Jewish history. Moses, who has been up on the mountain for 40 days, begins his descent with the tablets of the law. Meanwhile, back at base camp, the children of Israel display both their lack of faith and their inability to count (it was day 39 but they thought it was 40) by demanding that Aaron make them a golden idol. God gets mad, Moses gets mad, and about... read more

Shabbat Vayechi (Gen. 47:28-50:26)

The portion this week contains the closing verses for the book of Genesis/Bereshit. Jacob and his clan settle in Egypt and live there for 17 years, until Jacob feels that he is about to die. He calls all his children to him to give his final thoughts on them, their families and the future of the great nation he has started. Along the way, he offers to bless Manasseh and Ephraim – Joseph’s... read more

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